Magic Johnson

(BBR) Introduction

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr., a name celebrated on the basketball court, has transcended his sports legacy, becoming a powerful force in the business world. Known for his exceptional skills and charisma in basketball, Magic Johnson has made a significant mark in the entrepreneurial landscape, venturing into various industries and, most recently, becoming a part of a group that acquired the NFL's Washington Commanders. This article explores Magic Johnson's entrepreneurial journey, his impact on urban communities, and his recent venture into NFL team ownership.

Early Life and Basketball Career

Born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan, Magic Johnson's rise to prominence began during his college years at Michigan State University. He played a pivotal role in leading the Michigan State Spartans to the NCAA championship in 1979. Magic later joined the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA, where he won numerous championships and became one of the most celebrated players in the league's history.

Transition to Business

After retiring from professional basketball in 1991, Magic Johnson didn't rest on his laurels. Instead, he shifted his focus to the business world, leveraging his fame, influence, and keen business acumen to create a successful empire.

Magic Johnson Enterprises

In 1987, Magic Johnson founded Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), a conglomerate company that focuses on various business sectors, including entertainment, healthcare, real estate, and hospitality. Through MJE, Magic Johnson has invested in and co-owned numerous businesses, showcasing his dedication to empowering urban communities and promoting economic growth.

Theaters, Starbucks, and Real Estate

Magic Johnson's entrepreneurial journey includes ventures that have transformed communities and inspired change. He partnered with Sony Pictures to develop Magic Johnson Theatres, strategically located in underserved urban areas, providing entertainment options and employment opportunities. Additionally, his partnership with Starbucks led to the establishment of stores in ethnically diverse neighborhoods, enhancing economic development and access to quality products and services.

Magic Johnson's prowess in real estate is equally remarkable. His strategic investments have revitalized urban areas, creating jobs and improving living conditions for residents. His focus on sustainable development has played a significant role in transforming neglected neighborhoods into thriving communities.

Acquisition of Washington Commanders

Most recently, Magic Johnson made headlines by reportedly joining a group that acquired the NFL's Washington Commanders. This move underscores his expanding influence in the sports ownership realm and signifies a new era for the team. His involvement not only promises innovative strategies for the Commanders but also reinforces his commitment to community development and empowerment.


Magic Johnson's journey from a basketball icon to a successful entrepreneur and now an NFL team owner exemplifies determination, vision, and the power of giving back. His commitment to empowering urban communities, fostering economic growth, and creating opportunities for others has left an indelible mark on both the business and sports worlds.

Magic Johnson continues to inspire generations, proving that with dedication and vision, one can achieve greatness both on and off the court. His legacy as a businessman, philanthropist, and advocate for positive change serves as a beacon of hope for aspiring athletes, entrepreneurs, and community leaders, reminding them that dreams can be realized with hard work, perseverance, and a strong sense of purpose.

California Reparations Task Force

(BBR)  The California Reparations Task Force will vote on a series of proposals this weekend that could see descendants of slavery living in the state each receive up to $1.2 million.


In a series of documents published Monday, the task force indicated it will vote Saturday to recommend the state of California officially apologize for racism and slavery and offer “down payments” of varying amounts to eligible Black residents.



Here’s what to know about the proposals, which could cost more than $800 billion if they became law.


What is the task force?

In October 2020, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed Bill AB 3121 into law — creating the nation’s first ever task force to study and recommend reparations for slavery.


At the time, the country was still grappling with the murder of George Floyd, who had been killed by a Minneapolis police officer in May of that year. Newsom said the “painful history of slavery has evolved into structural racism and bias built into and permeating throughout our democratic and economic institutions.”


Today, the task force is headed by nine members — five appointed by the governor, two appointed by the president pro tempore of the state Senate, and two members by the state Speaker of the Assembly. A majority of the task force members are Black.


Last year, the task force released a 500-page report detailing the impact of slavery and systemic discrimination across the nation and in the state.


In addition to addressing racial disparities by police officers and in incarceration, the report called for “a detailed program of reparations for African Americans” and for the federal government to create a reparations commission.



It highlighted how programs like Social Security and the GI Bill often excluded Black Americans and created a wealth gap that has persisted since before the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. 


“160 years after the abolition of slavery, its badges and incidents remain embedded in the political, legal, health, financial, educational, cultural, environmental, social, and economic systems of the United States of America,” the task force said.


“Without a remedy specifically targeted to dismantle our country’s racist foundations and heal the injuries inflicted by colonial and American governments, the ‘badges and incidents of slavery’ will continue to harm African Americans in almost all aspects of American life,” it added.



Who qualifies for reparations?

The task force announced in a March 2022 report that any descendant of enslaved African Americans or of a “free Black person living in the United States prior to the end of the 19th century” would be eligible for reparations.


More than 2.5 million, or about 6.5 percent, of Californians are Black, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau, though that doesn’t mean all can trace their heritage back to meet these requirements.


The task force does state that in order to be eligible for reparations, applicants must be a resident of California — and have proof — that they have been a resident for at least six months of time within each area of harm.



Eligible residents should be compensated for each area of harm, the report added, regardless of direct or indirect harm.


“The State of California created laws and policies discriminating against and subjugating free and enslaved African Americans and their descendants,” the task force said. “In doing so, these discriminatory policies made no distinctions between these individuals; the compensatory remedy must do the same.”


How much in reparations is being recommended?

The proposal lists three specific areas for reparations: mass incarceration and over policing; discrimination in housing, such as redlining that left Black families unable to receive home loans; and harms to health, including unequal access to health care and environmental injustices.



The task force also looked into how much to award based on a number of factors, including length of the harm and length of the person’s residency, as well as whether the person was directly harmed and how the payment would correspond to damages.


For restitution for mass incarceration and over policing in Black communities, the proposal suggests providing $115,260 per person in 2020 dollars — or $2,352 for each year of residency in the state since 1971, which was the first year of the war on drugs.


During the war on drugs, Black Americans convicted of crack offenses were sentenced to nearly double the amount of time as white people convicted of the same offense, according to the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.



Today, Black men make up about 13 percent of the nation’s population but about 35 percent of those incarcerated. Similarly, Black women make up about 13 percent of the female population but 44 percent of incarcerated women.


For those who faced discriminatory housing policies between 1933 and 1977, when redlining mostly occurred, the proposal suggested $148,099 per person, or $3,366 for each year.


Black families own just one-tenth the wealth of white families, and housing discrimination has played a major component in the wealth gap.



The effects of redlining saw housing costs soar in Black communities at the same time the neighborhoods saw disinvestment. Today, homes in predominantly Black neighborhoods are valued at $48,000 less than predominantly white neighborhoods, according to the Brookings Institution, leading to an equity loss of nearly $156 billion. Black Americans today have a homeownership rate of 46.4 percent compared to 75.8 percent of white families.


For the health care disparities Black Californians have faced — including environmental pollution and discrimination by health care workers — the task force recommended $13,619 per person for every year lived in California.


In California, Black residents have an average lifespan of 71 years following the COVID-19 pandemic, a decrease of four years prior to the pandemic, so a total of $966,921 would be awarded.


But even before the pandemic, health care disparities persisted.


According to the report, the reduction in Black life expectancy is the result of discrimination, including “state-sanctioned medical experimentation and sterilization, segregation of healthcare facilities and the denial of funds to facilities or doctors that treated African Americans in California.”


Meanwhile, discriminatory local zoning exposed many Black neighborhoods to toxic industries and generated food deserts, or areas with limited access to nutritious food.


When will payouts begin?

Though the task force is set to meet Saturday to vote, their vote is simply a recommendation; the state legislature and governor will have the final say on whether to follow the task force’s suggestions.


And any bill that heads to Newsom’s desk is likely to face pushback from Republicans and moderate Democrats, who are against cash payments.


In 2020, 12 lawmakers voted against the task force creation, according to CalMatters. In a recent informal poll emailed to the 80 Assemblymembers conducted by CalMatters, only three legislators expressed support for the task force’s effort. The rest did not respond.


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Moreover, the questions of whether the state even has the finances for the payouts has been brought into question. California has an annual budget of around $237 billion, but economists on the panel said reparations could cost the state more than $800 billion.


And the panel added that the list of suggested sums is not exhaustive — these numbers lean on the conservative side and at best are a “very cautious initial assessment for what cost, at a minimum, the State of California is responsible.”


Still, the panel recommends instead of paying out a lump sum to eligible residents, the state begins with a “down payment” of a “meaningful amount of funds” as the first step toward reparations.  

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Karen Bass is a leader who has dedicated her life to public servic

(BBR) Los Angeles - Karen Bass is a leader who has dedicated her life to public service. As the former Speaker of the California State Assembly and the current Mayor of Los Angeles, she has been a tireless advocate for social justice, equality, and community empowerment. Her leadership has transformed Los Angeles into a more inclusive and equitable city, and she has become a role model and inspiration to many.

Bass was born and raised in Los Angeles, and she has spent her entire career fighting for the people of her community. As a community organizer in South Los Angeles, she worked to empower local residents and fight against poverty and inequality. She went on to serve in the California State Assembly, where she became the first African American woman to serve as Speaker, and she has continued to champion progressive causes throughout her career.

As Mayor of Los Angeles, Bass has focused on improving public safety, expanding affordable housing, and promoting economic development. She has been a strong supporter of police reform and has worked to build bridges between law enforcement and the communities they serve. She has also been a vocal advocate for immigrant rights and has taken steps to protect the rights of undocumented residents.

Bass's leadership style is characterized by her deep commitment to social justice and her unwavering dedication to her community. She is known for her compassion, her empathy, and her ability to bring people together to achieve common goals. She has a deep understanding of the challenges facing Los Angeles and has worked tirelessly to address them.

Throughout her career, Bass has been a champion for women's rights, racial justice, and LGBTQ+ rights. She has fought to ensure that everyone has access to quality healthcare, education, and job opportunities, and she has worked to make Los Angeles a more welcoming and inclusive city for all. Her leadership has inspired countless young people, especially young women and girls, to pursue careers in public service and to work towards a better future for all.

As Los Angeles looks towards the future, Bass's leadership will be more important than ever. She has the experience, the vision, and the dedication to lead the city through the challenges ahead, and to build a more just, equitable, and prosperous future for all of its residents. She is a true leader, a role model, and a game changer, and Los Angeles is lucky to have her as its Mayor.

Magic Johnson founded Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE)

(BBR LA) Earvin "Magic" Johnson is a name synonymous with basketball, having played for the Los Angeles Lakers for 13 seasons and winning five NBA championships. But what many may not know is that he has also built an impressive business empire outside of the court. Magic Johnson is a successful entrepreneur with business ventures spanning across various industries. Here's a closer look at some of his notable business ventures.

  1. Magic Johnson Enterprises: In 1987, Magic Johnson founded Magic Johnson Enterprises (MJE), a company focused on investment in urban communities. The company has invested in various industries such as real estate, media, and sports. MJE has also formed partnerships with major brands such as Starbucks, AMC Theatres, and T.G.I. Friday's.

  2. Starbucks: In 1998, Johnson became the first franchisee for Starbucks in urban areas, opening his first location in South Central Los Angeles. He went on to own and operate 125 Starbucks locations across the US, generating over $1 billion in revenue.

  3. Los Angeles Dodgers: In 2012, Johnson and his partners bought the Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team for $2.15 billion, making it the largest purchase of a North American sports franchise at the time.

  4. EquiTrust Life Insurance Company: In 2015, Johnson acquired a majority stake in EquiTrust Life Insurance Company, a company that focuses on providing insurance and retirement solutions to middle-class Americans.

  5. SodexoMAGIC: In partnership with Sodexo, Johnson created SodexoMAGIC, a food and facilities management company that provides services to school districts, healthcare facilities, and government agencies. The company has won contracts with major organizations such as the Los Angeles Unified School District and the US Marine Corps.

  6. Aspire TV: In 2012, Johnson launched Aspire TV, a cable network that focuses on programming for African Americans. Aspire has partnered with various production companies to create original content such as "Exhale" and "Butter + Brown."

  7. JLC Investments: Johnson has also formed JLC Investments, which focuses on investing in minority-owned businesses. The company has invested in various companies such as the Los Angeles Sparks of the WNBA, a line of health products from Simply Proven, and the video sharing platform, Unseen Heroes.

Magic Johnson has become an iconic figure both in basketball and business, and his success is a testament to his hard work, dedication, and entrepreneurial spirit. With ventures spanning various industries, he has made significant contributions to urban communities and has become an inspiration to many